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Creating Opportunities - July 2018

The Darlington Upgrade Project is building bridges in the community as well as on our roads

For young indigenous worker Michael Sumner that has paved the way to a new career in civil construction.

Having worked for 10 years as a Gyprock plasterer and wanting to take his career in a different direction, Michael jumped at the chance to work for Gateway South on the Darlington Upgrade Project, part of the North South Corridor program.

The project is proud of its Aboriginal Participation Policy targeting 2% or more of total project hours on-site to be completed by Aboriginal employees, this target has been greatly surpassed and is currently achieving 7% participation.

Michael is an example of Gateway South’s diverse employment opportunities and is developing many new skills because of it, including Certificate 3 in Civil Construction. He is also working towards gaining his excavator ticket to add to his dogging and forklift qualifications.

“Being on a major site in South Australia – in the long run is going to provide opportunities,” he said.

Michael was involved in the first bridge move on Main South Road over the Southern Expressway. The bridge weighs 3,000 tonnes and is 180m long and was moved into its final position using self-propelled modular transporters (SPMTs). This process was a first of its kind in Australia.

“It was amazing to watch the technology, to see something so big and so heavy be wheeled down the road and be put in place, it was great to watch,” Michael said.

Michael is one of many Indigenous and non-Indigenous people given the chance to learn new skills and take hold of real employment opportunities provided by the Darlington Upgrade Project.

The success of the project won’t be just measured in relieving the traffic flow for more than 70,000 vehicles each day, but through the ongoing opportunities provided for young people like Michael.